Define and communicate quality requirements in all processes, procedures and the related enterprise outcomes, including controls, ongoing monitoring, and the use of proven practices and standards in continuous improvement and efficiency efforts.
Ensure consistent delivery of solutions and services to meet the quality requirements of the enterprise and satisfy stakeholder needs.
There is an old saying that goes “If something is worth doing, it is worth doing right.” That is certainly the case when undertaking any kind of a project within your organization. There is little point to taking on a new project, only to complete it to a low standard of quality that will not reflect well on you or your organization.
In order to have pride in what you have accomplished, and for it to benefit the organization in the long run, the quality needs to be up to the standards of everything else that you do.
Project quality management is the process of establishing a level of expected quality as the start of a project, and then maintaining that quality throughout until the project has been completed. There are several areas that are often at the root of poor quality.
Poor Quality can occur because:
- Insufficient details requested from users
- Not asking all user groups for input
- Lack of understanding of requirements
- Requirements were understood, but not achieved
- Quality needs changed during the project
- Quality requirements were exceeded
It might be easiest to think of this concept in terms of an example, such as a new product that your organization is trying to produce. Rather than simply aiming to produce a product that can accomplish a given task, you may set out to create a product that can accomplish that task while also meeting various other measures of quality. Things like durability, materials used, methods of construction, and more can all be ways that the quality is measured.
Organizations who are serious about not only present profits but also future growth take quality control very seriously. Everything that goes onto market representing your brand name is going to be seen as a reflection of the company as a whole. Even one or two sub-standard products can harm the reputation of an otherwise outstanding brand name.
- Approved quality reviews
- Quality review results, exceptions and corrections
- Quality assurance plan
- Request fulfilment status and trends report
- Incident status and trends report
- QMS roles, responsibilities and decision rights
- Quality management plans
- Results of QMS effectiveness reviews
- Quality management standards
- Customer requirements for quality management
- Acceptance criteria
- Review results of quality of service, including customer feedback
- Results of quality reviews and audits
- Process quality of service goals and metrics
- Results of solution and service delivery quality monitoring
- Root causes of quality delivery failures
- Communications on continual improvement and good practices
- Examples of good practice to be shared
- Quality review benchmark results
- Enterprisewide quality system
- Industry good practices
- Available quality certifications
- Business and Custer quality requirements
Establish a Quality Management System
- Ensure that the IT control framework and the business and IT processes include a standard, formal, and continuous approach to quality management that is aligned with enterprise requirements. Within the IT control framework and the business and IT processes, identify quality requirements and criteria (e.g., based on legal requirements and requirements from customers).
- Define roles, tasks, decision rights, and responsibilities for quality management in the organizational structure.
- Define quality management plans for important processes, projects, or objectives in alignment with enterprise quality management criteria and policies. Record quality data.
- Monitor and measure the effectiveness and acceptance of quality management, and improve them when needed.
- Align IT quality management with an enterprise-wide quality system to encourage a standardized and continuous approach to quality.
- Obtain input from management and external and internal stakeholders on the definition of quality requirements and quality management criteria.
- Effectively communicate the approach (e.g., through regular, formal quality training programs).
- Regularly review the continued relevance, efficiency, and effectiveness of specific quality management processes. Monitor the achievement of quality objectives.
Define and Manage Quality Standards, Practices and Procedures
- Define the quality management standards, practices, and procedures in line with the IT control framework’s requirements. Use good industry practices for reference when improving and tailoring the enterprise’s quality practices.
- Consider the benefits and costs of quality certifications.
Focus Quality Management on Customers
- Focus quality management on customers by determining internal and external customer requirements and ensuring the alignment of the IT standards and practices. Define and communicate roles and responsibilities concerning conflict resolution between the user/customer and the IT organization
- Manage the business needs and expectations for each business process, IT operational service and new solutions, and maintain their quality acceptance criteria. Capture quality acceptance criteria for inclusion in SLAs.
- Communicate customer requirements and expectations throughout the business and IT organization.
- Periodically obtain customer views on business process and service provisioning and IT solution delivery, to determine the impact on IT standards and practices and to ensure that customer expectations are met and are acted upon.
- Regularly monitor and review the QMS against agreed-on acceptance criteria. Include feedback from customers, users, and management. Respond to discrepancies in review results to continuously improve the QMS.
- Capture quality acceptance criteria for inclusion in SLAs.
Perform Quality Monitoring,k Control and Reviews
- Monitor the quality of processes and services on an ongoing and systematic basis by describing, measuring, analyzing, improving/engineering, and controlling the processes.
- Prepare and conduct quality reviews.
- Report the review results and initiate improvements where appropriate.
- Monitor the quality of processes, as well as the value quality, provides. Ensure that measurement, monitoring, and recording of information is used by the process owner to take appropriate corrective and preventive actions.
- Monitor goal-driven quality metrics aligned to overall quality objectives covering the quality of individual projects and services.
- Ensure that management and process owners regularly review quality management performance against defined quality metrics.
- Analyze overall quality management performance results
Integrate Quality Management into Solutions for Development and Service Delivery
- Integrate quality management practices in solutions development processes and practices.
- Continuously monitor service levels and incorporate quality management practices in the service delivery processes and practices.
- Identify and document root causes for non-conformance, and communicate findings to IT management and other stakeholders in a timely manner to enable remedial action to be taken. Where appropriate, perform follow-up reviews.
Maintain Continuous Improvement
- Maintain and regularly communicate the need for, and benefits of, continuous improvement.
- Establish a platform to share good practices and to capture information on defects and mistakes to enable learning from them.
- Identify recurring examples of quality defects, determine their root cause, evaluate their impact and result, and agree on improvement actions with the
service and project delivery teams.
- Identify examples of excellent quality delivery processes that can benefit other services or projects, and share these with the service and project
delivery teams to encourage improvement.
- Promote a culture of quality and continual improvement.
- Establish a feedback loop between quality management and problem management.
- Provide employees with training in the methods and tools of continual improvement.
- Benchmark the results of the quality reviews against internal historical data, industry guidelines, standards and data from similar types of enterprises.
Many people find quality management to be a challenging project management process to implement. This is because quality is hard to define, and proper quality management requires you to collect metrics to validate the state of quality. The following process will help create a framework for the quality management process.
- Create a Quality Management Plan
Describe the processes and activities used to ensure that quality deliverables are produced. Develop a Quality Management Plan to identify the major deliverables, completeness and correctness criteria, quality control activities, and quality assurance activities. The Quality Management Plan also describes how you will achieve the client’s quality requirements.
- Determine the customer requirements for quality
Work with your customer to determine their requirements for quality. The high-level characteristics of quality can be uncovered during the project definition process. Detailed quality requirements should be documented when you gather business requirements.
- Define a set of metrics to validate that quality requirements are met
Identify a set of metrics that will provide insight into the quality of the deliverables. The project manager should already be capturing overall financial and duration metrics. The quality-related metrics need to be more sophisticated. There are two areas where you are trying to manage quality – your project work processes and the actual deliverables you are building. You should try to capture metrics that will measure each.
- Execute quality control activities
Quality control refers to activities that validate the quality of your deliverables. It is also referred to as “inspection.” Ensure that the quality control activities for every deliverable are performed while the project is underway.
- Execute quality assurance activities
Quality assurance refers to the processes used to build deliverables. It is also referred to as “prevention.” Having good processes should result in good-quality deliverables.
- Monitor and resolve deliverable quality
You need to validate the quality of your deliverables on an ongoing basis. When quality problems are found, implement a process to determine the cause and improve the process.
Using this process will help you understand, plan for and manage the state of quality of your project.
Create These Seven Elements of a Quality Management Plan
The Quality Management Plan describes how you will ensure the client’s quality requirements are achieved. It is the place to describe the processes and activities that will be put into place to ensure that quality deliverables are produced. The Quality Management Plan also helps you understand when deliverables are complete and correct.
The quality requirements are unknown when the Quality Management Plan is created. Still, it would be best if you described the processes and techniques you will use to uncover the quality requirements and verify that the requirements are met. The information in the Quality Management Plan includes:
- Roles and responsibilities. Describe the different quality-related roles on the project. The project manager has overall responsibility, but you may have other roles assisting. These could include quality auditors, third-party testing specialists, inspectors, etc.
- Completeness and correctness criteria. The completeness and correctness criteria aim to work with the customer upfront to define what it means for a deliverable to be considered complete and correct. Then, when you meet those terms, you expect the customer to be satisfied. In other words, there should be no surprises.
- Quality requirements process. Describe the process you will use to uncover and validate the customer’s expectations for quality. This is generally going to be a part of the requirements-gathering process.
- Quality assurance activities. Quality assurance activities focus on the processes used to build the solution. They can be validated by a functional manager, business sponsor, or a third-party reviewer. It would help if you described this project’s major quality assurance activities and techniques.
- Quality control activities. Quality control activities are performed continually throughout a project to verify that project deliverables are acceptable. It would help if you described the major quality control activities and techniques that will be used on this project.
- Quality standards. List any quality standards that the company or organization has previously defined that this project will follow.
Quality tools. List any quality-related tools that your project will utilize.
The Quality Management Plan is where you think beforehand about how you will understand the customers’ expectations for quality and how you will deliver to that expectations. Once the project starts, this Plan guides how you will manage quality throughout the project.